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UK health minister sparks fury by urging people not to 'cower from' COVID

CoronavirusJul 25, 2021 05:05AM ET
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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Britain's new Health Secretary Sajid Javid holds a face mask, as he leaves the Downing Street in London, Britain, June 30, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

LONDON (Reuters) - British health minister Sajid Javid was accused of insulting coronavirus victims on Sunday after urging people to take a COVID-19 vaccine and "learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus".

Javid, who replaced Matt Hancock as health minister last month after his predecessor stepped down for breaking COVID rules by kissing an aide in his office, began his job by urging people to learn to live with the virus.

Britain, which has one of the highest official COVID death tolls, has shifted its strategy to fight coronavirus from using restrictions to limit its spread to opening up society in the hope vaccines will protect most people from serious illness.

Cases are high, but so is uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, and officials argue the shift is needed to help businesses in sectors such as hospitality and the night-time economy.

Writing on Twitter, Javid said on Saturday he had recovered after testing positive for COVID. "Symptoms were very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines," he said.

"Please - if you haven't yet - get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus."

Angela Rayner, deputy leader of the Labour Party, was one of several lawmakers from opposition parties and people who have lost family members to the pandemic to criticise his use of the phrase "cower from".

"127,000 people have died from this virus, tens of thousands of whom would still be here if it wasn't for the catastrophic failures of your government," she said on Twitter.

"So how dare you denigrate people for trying to keep themselves and their families safe."

UK health minister sparks fury by urging people not to 'cower from' COVID
 

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Comments (4)
Kaveh Sun
Kaveh Sun Jul 25, 2021 11:19AM ET
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Deal with it, Covid is here to stay.
Amy Carbob
Amy Carbob Jul 25, 2021 9:21AM ET
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Sajid javid is an economist and a banker. I dont know why he is health secretary.
Roger Miller
Roger Miller Jul 25, 2021 9:03AM ET
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This is what happens when you go against the “fear” narrative, even slightly. What he said was one of the smarter things I’ve heard a politician say recently.
Phil Davis
Phil Davis Jul 25, 2021 9:03AM ET
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I'm amazed at the amount of sheep in the world. The UK is one of the worst. The level of credulity is breathtaking with regard to the government and the media. They gulp the lies down like a thirsty dehydrated desert traveler.
jason xx
jason xx Jul 25, 2021 7:02AM ET
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Quote: "strategy to fight coronavirus from using restrictions to limit its spread to opening up society in the hope vaccines will protect most people from serious illness" How can that go wrong? .
 
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